About

Photographs, Pistols, and Parasols is an ongoing labor of love by a married couple who has spent much of the past two years traveling the world, collecting information about early women photographers along the way:

Lee McIntyre, Project founder, researcher, writer, audio technician, podcast host. I’m the voice on the podcast, and also the author of all the website material.
Chris Culy, Researcher and programmer extraordinaire

We’ve also gotten periodic help and support along the way from many other people.

Lee McIntyre – bio

Lee McIntyre (self-portrait)
Lee McIntyre (self-portrait)

“Don’t be afraid to experiment!” As an American photographer and photography educator, that’s the mantra that’s led me around the world to more than 30 countries, for a mix of travel, photography, and work.

My passion for photography has remained a constant throughout my life, starting at a young age:

When I was 5, my dad let me hold a camera and take photos all by myself on our vacation at Niagara Falls. Great fun!

When I was 8, my aunt’s brother-in-law worked at Polaroid, and I got to experience taking photos with a prototype of a Polaroid SX-70 camera, moving from disappointment to elation when the blank white photo that popped out of the camera suddenly developed before my eyes. Pure magic!

When I was 10, my Aunt Kathy, a painter and photographer, taught me the rudiments of darkroom photography while we were closeted away in my parent’s windowless bathroom one afternoon. Unbelievably exciting — I’ve been hooked ever since!

I’ve moved from that first little camera I used when I was 5 … to a Polaroid Electric Zip camera with its bright red body that I won on a kid’s game show.. to a Canon A-1 and slide film … to a variety of digital compact and dSLR cameras that I still use today.

Over the years, I’ve had a number of different jobs and careers. Early on I worked as a pianist, musical director and freelance journalist. I then earned a Ph.D. in Linguistics, subsequently working first as an ESL teacher, later as a visiting Linguistics professor. Later still — and for almost 20 years — I worked as a software interface designer, earning United States patents and several awards for my work. After moving to Europe, I had the good fortune to be able to focus (pardon the pun) on photography; my main website, clfoto.net, has examples of my work. I have a particular passion for teaching both the history of photography as well as practical photography. My classes are always aimed at general audiences. I love explaining photography techniques so that the average photography enthusiast can understand them and then apply the ideas in order to get more enjoyment from their own photography.

I’ve lectured on the history of photography in a university setting, as well as offering talks in public forums. One of my favorite recent experiences was giving a special invited series of lectures on the history of 20th Century American woman photographers. The success of those lectures, as well as the requests from audiences eager to learn more, inspired my current work on the unsung, but extremely talented, early women artisan photographers.

Chris Culy – bio

Chris Culy, self-portrait
Chris Culy, self-portrait

Chris is — by profession — a computer scientist and linguist who has worked around the world for universities, corporations and public/private research labs. His background includes teaching: he’s been everything from a math teacher in Mali, to a professor of linguistics in the U.S. and a professor of computational linguistics in Germany. He’s also been a researcher and consultant, working first in linguistics in academia then in computational linguistics and artificial intelligence in Silicon Valley and most recently on language data visualization in Europe.

Information about free language visualization tools he has developed can be found in the Linguistic section of his website at chrisculy.net.

When he’s not working on language visualization, he pursues his related interest in digital art, as well as photography. Over the past few years his works have been exhibited and collected internationally. Selected examples of his work and information on how to purchase them can be found in the Artistic section of his website, chrisculy.net/art/.

When he’s not working on any of those things,  Chris brings his passion for photography and love of history to researching artisan women photographers for this project.  Not only he is a top-notch reseacher, he’s applied his technical skills to developed a series of tools that help with gathering, organizing,  and analyzing all the data we collect.

Acknowledgements

Many thanks to all the archivists, photo historians, photo hobbyists, family, and friends who have helped track down information and photos, donated time, and provided financial support to help get this project off the ground.

I’m very grateful for everyone’s input, but I’d like to give a special shout out to Pam Mendelsohn. Thank you, Pam, for your generosity in sharing so many books, stories, and contacts about Peter Palmquist’s work, as well as your unending enthusiasm for the project. Peter’s enthusiasm for finding out more about the lives, work, and stories of early artisan women photographers comes through in his writing and in my talks with you. Although I never had the pleasure of meeting him, I feel his spirit lives on, and it is to him that this project is dedicated.

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